John Madden’s Championship Game Picks

SAN FRANCISCO (KCBS) – John Madden likes the 49ers over the New York Giants in Sunday’s NFC Championship game at Candlestick Park, but only because they’re the local team.

“This one is really close,” Madden told the KCBS morning crew. “These are two teams that are a lot alike. And you say, ‘well the 49ers have good defense.’ Yeah, the Giants have good defense. Alex Smith is playing well, so is Eli Manning. The Giants have a good offensive line, so do the 49ers. The Giants have a great pass rush, so do the 49ers. There’s not much advantage anywhere.”

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But the 49ers are playing on their home field.

“If the 49ers get ahead and they’re doing well, it helps,” Madden said. “It helps when the 49ers are on defense. It helps when the Giants have the ball… That’s the toughest part about crowd noise playing on the road…if it’s really noisy, you have to go to your silent count and change your cadence.”

Wet weather is forecast for the late afternoon game.

“I think the players adjust and adapt,” Madden said. “It’s the same for everyone. It kind of slows things down. If you know where you’re going, you have an advantage over the guy that has to react. Ultimately and eventually, it boils down to going out and playing.”

In the AFC Championship game, John likes the Patriots over the Ravens. “You can play pretty good defense and (the Patriots) can still get 28 or 30 on you,” John said. “Then the question is can the Baltimore offense score more than that, and I don’t think so.” (9:10)

Listen to the John Madden segment live weekday mornings at 8:15 on KCBS All News 740 AM/106.9 FM.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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